Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Christmas Eve! And have a story on me ...

First there were (or is it was?) 26 Treasures - whoopee! - and then there was (or is it were?) 26 Stories of Christmas - hurrah!

Here's how the Christmas story project worked:

"26 writers chose an object that means Christmas to them and wrote 26 words about it. Those objects and words found new homes, as we paired each writer with another writer's object. Each writer then came up with a 500-word piece of family fiction inspired by their new object - the sort of story you might share after Christmas dinner. These stories then inspired 26 illustrators, who had just two weeks to respond to a piece of fiction they'd never seen before."

I was all agog to see a) what a writer and illustrator would do with my object and b) what an illustrator would do with my story!

I loved both a)



We're off Loch Rannoch way for over New Year's so I'll not be posting next week. In the meantime, here's a photo from last year, showing a typical Scottish greeting to the new year, just before we paint passers-by with the woad of good fortune and toss generic tartan cabers thither and yon, for good health. Wishing you lots of both!

Cheers, Joan.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Huzzah for Humanity!

Two very different reasons to rejoice that we aren't - in spite of the attractions - tiny, handless, irresponsible, un-guilt-ridden amoeba:



(scroll down to the video)

Cheers! Joan.

P.S. Sorry not to have embedded these properly, but my tech assistant is off to a party!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Urban Leopard

This week I've been thinking about a leopard. Not my favourite of the big cats, but nevertheless there's been one lurking round the edges of my mind, peripheral but persistent, refusing (in the way of cats) to coalesce into anything like a useful metaphor. A ghost leopard. Is it there because I visited the zoo? Not so much - it was there before that, and I was mostly hugging the warmer enclosures, like the aviary and the tiny monkeys, not quite managing to take photos in focus. (I need a new camera. Well, I want a new camera.) No, this isn't a zoo leopard. It's an urban leopard.

I spent a few days in Edinburgh this week - an escape in the opposite direction for me, since I normally head for heath and hills sort of thing when life gets too much, somewhere where I can slow down and fall into whatever it is I'm needing to write. But this time it was the things I was needing to write that I needed to escape from, and the city seemed perfect. Hustle, art galleries, museums, shops and bustle. Sitting in coffee shops reading. Not writing.

It was wonderful! Thank you Edinburgh.

And now, if I could just figure out what I'm supposed to do with this leopard ...

Cheers, Joan.

P.S. December's Wikio Top Blogs Ranking (which now seems to be calling itself Ebuzzing, for reasons unknown to me) has come out - thank you again for all your visits to this blog which have bumped me up 10 places to 46 in the Culture category and 3 places to 22 in Literature. I don't pretend to understand how it works, but it certainly produces a warm fuzzy feeling in this writer's toes.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

26 Treasures Launch Day

It was a great day!

It opened with a long Scots poem by Aimee Chalmers accompanied by an astonishing saxophonist named Richard Ingram. Then through the course of the afternoon each of the 26 of us spoke about the experience of coming to terms with our object, and read what we'd written. Like the objects themselves, the range of 62-word pieces was fascinatingly wide. The audiences for each session were appreciative and in between I did some shameless hustling for the Alternative 26 workshop on 21 January!

And afterwards, when we had the chance to talk together, it was interesting how many of us were saying, "This is great - when can we do it again?!" Definitely addictive, this 26 Treasuring!

Cheers, Joan.

P.S. On another note, I've put a post up on Girls Heart Books titled We Are Not Alone! - come see me there!